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HLS establishes Bob Barker endowment

Harvard Law School (HLS) has received a $500,000 gift to establish the Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights. The fund will support teaching and research at HLS in the emerging field of animal rights law. The income generated by the gift will fund periodic courses and seminars at HLS on animal rights taught by visiting scholars having a wide range of views and perspectives. In addition to classroom instruction, the gift will assist visiting and permanent faculty members in conducting research in this growing discipline.

The gift was given by Pearson Television in honor of Bob Barker's 30 years as host of "The Price Is Right." Barker has long been associated with the animal rights movement, having established the DJ&T Foundation to help control the animal population, in addition to receiving numerous awards from humane organizations in recognition of his efforts.

"Harvard Law School is known for the depth and breadth of its curriculum, which includes approximately 260 different courses and seminars," said Dean Robert C. Clark. "This fund will allow our faculty and students to explore in depth an emerging field of law that has ramifications in many traditional legal areas. We are grateful to Pearson Television for this gift - our students will benefit greatly from their generosity and from Bob Barker's sensitivity to the issue of animal rights."

"I am deeply moved that Pearson Television has chosen to honor me in this fashion," said Barker. "Pearson and this prestigious institution have made this a wonderful day for me and the animals."

"Bob Barker has made extraordinary strides in the protection of animals during the past quarter century," said Syd Vinnedge, a senior executive with Pearson Television. "It seemed appropriate for us to honor him in this fashion as we launch the 30th year of 'The Price Is Right.' We're delighted that Harvard Law School has agreed to create this special opportunity in Bob's name."

Over the past three decades, HLS has broadened its traditional curriculum to include courses that address the changing shape of law and society. Among these are courses as diverse as patent law and intellectual property litigation, disability law, negotiation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, East Asian legal studies, and now animal rights law. Additionally, the Law School has established 18 research programs or projects that focus on issues including empirical legal studies, civil rights, the Internet and its role in society, and Islamic legal studies.

Vinnedge and Barker presented the gift to Dean Clark at Harvard Law School on Wednesday, June 13.